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This article is about the American Melee smasher. For other uses, see Ken (disambiguation).
"The King of Smash" redirects here. For the Chilean tournament, see Tournament:The King of Smash.
Ken "SephirothKen" "The King of Smash"
Character info
Smash 64 main Captain Falcon
Melee main Marth
Other Melee character Fox
Brawl main Marth
Smash 4 main Ganondorf
Other Smash 4 characters Marth, Roy
Ultimate main Simon
Project M main Marth
Other Project M character Roy
Team info
Sponsor(s) Team Liquid
Former crews Socal Elite 4, Melee Hell
Rankings and results info
Most recent ranking Super Smash Bros. Melee SSBMRank 2016: 87th
Best historical ranking Super Smash Bros. Melee RetroSSBMRank 2006: 1st
Best tournament result Super Smash Bros. 65th / 185 at GENESIS 4
Super Smash Bros. Melee 1st / 192 at Zero Challenge 2
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2nd / 110 at EVO 2008
Super Smash Bros. 4 65th / 313 at DreamHack Austin 2017
PM Icon.png 25th / 255 at CEO 2014
Winnings Super Smash Bros. Melee ~$43,058
Personal and other info
Real name Ken Hoang
Birth date (age 38)
Location Westminster, California United States

Ken Hoang, also referred to as just Ken, SephirothKen, or The King of Smash, is an American professional smasher of Vietnamese descent who mains Marth, ever since his debut in Tournament Go 4. He is Manacloud's younger brother. Well known for being the World Champion of Super Smash Bros. Melee during his prime, Ken was officially ranked the best Super Smash Bros. Melee player in America during his heyday, being a two-time national champion of Major League Gaming, two-time winner of Tournament Go and winning many other notable tournaments, and was also widely regarded as the best player in the world, having defeated reputable players from around the globe, including top Japanese players such as Captain Jack, Masashi, Aniki, Bombsoldier, and Korius in the summer of 2005.

Ken was considered the most consistent player during his prime, earning over $50,000 USD throughout his entire career, and had the most impressive tournament track record earning him the nickname "The King of Smash" within the community. Aside from his personal achievements, Ken is a former member of El Chocolate Diablo, which was the top-ranking doubles team, and a member of the Socal Elite 4. Ken is also notable for innovating a highly influential combo named after him.

Ken is also notable for having fame outside of the Smash games. In September 2006, Ken was nominated as one of five members of "The Dangerous Five" by Electronic Gaming Monthly; he was notable as being one of only two gamers on the list who did not specialize in the Halo games, alongside Michael Brandt, who played Tekken. Ken was referred to as "The Duper", due to his quick, smart, and aggressive playstyle. Additionally, Ken managed to land a spot as a contestant on the 17th season of Survivor[1]; in the final standings, he won fifth place.

Ken is currently inactive in Melee and has been since GENESIS 5 in January 2018. At that event, he placed 65th in singles and 13th in doubles.


World Champion Ken (left, holding two trophies) with a check for $5000.

Ken started playing Super Smash Bros. when it was released for the Nintendo 64. He made his gamertag "sephirothken" after the main villain of Final Fantasy VII. He was able to learn the ropes of Smash quickly and became fluent in its gameplay. However, he was never able to compete in major tournaments for it due to the lack of a competitive scene. When Melee was released for the Gamecube, Ken initially did not enjoy it, but the game grew on him after a period of a few months. By the time he attended his first tournament, he had already built up an impressive reputation in his town as the best Smash player. This tournament, hosted at a local gaming store known as Game Square, employed completely different rules from today's standardized rules. It was a free-for-all tournament, and everybody else teamed up against Ken because he was considered the best. Despite the combined efforts of the other participants, however, Ken still ended up winning the tournament.

In 2002, a moderator on SmashBoards by the handle of Matt Deezie hosted the Tournament Go (TG series), which was one of the first lines of major tournaments. Up to that point, there had been three installments in the TG series, with each new incarnation being more popular than the last. Recipherus, a Sheik main, was the favorite to win the fourth installment that would come in early 2003. However, interests turned as Matt Deezie read posts by Ken, who boasted that he was unbeatable at Melee due to his tournament win at Game Square. Matt Deezie and Recipherus challenged Ken to a $200 money match, and while the two competitive smashers were more versed in advanced, technical aspects of the game, Ken was more adept in adaptation, and defeated the duo. After the money match, Ken learned of the Tournament Go series, and planned to travel to Northern California to claim his first major tournament win.

Ken later attended Tournament Go 4, where even with his lack of experience in any strong competitive scene, he managed to defeat players who had attended previous TGs and take first out of a record 89 players at that time. He also placed second in teams with his brother Manacloud, losing to TG1 and TG2 singles winners J.R. Castillo and Justin Junio.

Seven months later, in August 2003, Ken attended and won TG5. This was the first tournament where he teamed with Isai for doubles (otherwise known as "Malva00"), who was considered one of the best Super Smash Bros. players in the country in his prime. Their victory in the doubles tournament started a two-and-a-half year winning streak. They won every doubles tournament they entered until MLG Chicago 2006 in July, where they were defeated by Azen and Chillindude829 in the finals and received second place. However, they reclaimed their title later that year in August at MLG Orlando 2006 where they defeated Azen and Chillindude829 6-3 in the finals.

For the next two years, Ken continued to win nearly every competition he entered. The worst loss he ever garnered in this timespan was in August 2004 at TG6 where he placed 9th out of approximately 128 competitors. After that, he did not place below 2nd until MLG Orlando 2006 in August where he placed 5th and then MLG New York Playoffs 2006 where he placed 7th, and in teams he got 3rd teaming with Isai making it his all-time low in singles and doubles at MLG events.

Ken briefly joined the tournament scene for Brawl, with respectable standings, including a second place finish at EVO 2008. EVO 2008, however, proved to be his last Brawl tournament; his AllisBrawl profile listed him as inactive, and in a Q&A session with ESPN, Ken stated that he needed "a big break from gaming", and that he needed to pursue his career in illustration. Ken, however, also suggested that there existed a potential for him in joining the Brawl tournament scene if it got picked up by the MLG again. Several years later in 2010 MLG did have Brawl on its Pro Circuit, though Ken did not participate.

After five years away from competitive Smash, Ken temporarily chose to rejoin the scene in the 2012 tournament of Kings of Cali. In his return to Melee, however, Ken underperformed in singles, getting a 33rd place finish. His doubles run, however, ended in a third place finish with Dr. Peepee, and he provided the deciding KO in the NorCal - Socal 8 on 8 battle against PewPewU; Ken was initially not supposed to appear in the battle for SoCal, but a six stock lead by his team caused team captain Mango to switch out Lucky for him.

Although still no longer as active in the Melee scene as before, Ken has made a handful of appearances since Kings of Cali; while unable to continue his previously dominant standings from the past, Ken continues to be seen in the top 64 of finalists in singles sets, along with solid doubles standings.

On March 18th, 2014, Team Liquid, an eSports team in the Netherlands famous for its StarCraft II and Dota 2 teams, opened a Melee team and signed Ken and KoreanDJ as its first members, with The Smash Brothers director Samox producing Team Liquid's official announcement video.[2][3]

He was also invited to participate in the E3 2014-held Super Smash Bros. Invitational tournament to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. He used Marth in the tournament.

In 2014, Ken made a resurgence in many tournaments, including EVO 2014, MLG Anaheim 2014, SSS Lock-In, SKTAR 3, CEO 2014 and Kings of Cali 4. In each, he has finished with decent placing, as well as holding set wins over the likes of MacD, Lucky, Westballz, DEHF, Bizzarro Flame, Fly Amanita and more, with close set losses and game wins against the likes of S2J, fellow top Marth mains The Moon and PewPewU, and even one of the world's best Armada at CEO. He also regularly attended Super Smash Sundays throughout the year, consistently placing top 8 or 9th place in singles and Top 8 in doubles. At EVO 2015, Ken unexpectedly placed 13th, marking his highest placement at a major tournament since Super Champ Combo in 2007.

Tournament placings[edit]


Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
GENESIS 4 January 20th-22nd, 2017 65th

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner Earnings
Tournament Go 4 January 19th, 2003 1st 2nd Manacloud $900
SoCal Inland Empire SSB:M 1st
Tournament Go 5 August 2nd-3rd, 2003 1st 1st Isai $1,000
Game Over January 10th, 2004 1st 1st Isai $765
Zero Challenge 1 January 17th-18th, 2004 1st 1st Manacloud $650
MLG Chicago 2004 June 19th-20th, 2004 1st 1st Isai
MELEE-FC1 July 9th-10th, 2004 1st 1st Isai $500
Tournament Go 6 August 21st-22nd, 2004 9th 1st Isai
MLG San Francisco 2004 September 11th-12th, 2004 3rd $200
MLG Los Angeles 2004 September 25th-26th, 2004 1st 1st Isai
MLG New York 2004 October 24th, 2004 1st 1st Isai $2,000
MOAST 3 January 16th, 2005 2nd 1st Isai $360
MLG DC 2005 January 29th-30th, 2005 1st 1st Isai $1,000
MLG San Francisco 2005 February 26th-27th, 2005 1st 1st Isai $500
Gettin' Schooled 2 June 25th-26th, 2005 1st 1st Isai
MELEE-FC3 July 10th-12th, 2005 1st 1st Isai
Jack Garden Tournament August 20th, 2005 1st
MLG Los Angeles 2005 October 14th-16th, 2005 2nd 1st Isai $1,000
MLG Atlanta 2005 November 25th-27th, 2005 1st 1st Isai $2,000
MLG Chicago 2005 December 16th-18th, 2005 1st 2nd ChuDat $2,000
MLG New York 2005 February 24th-26th, 2006 1st 1st Isai $5,000
Champ Combo: Yayuhzzz Edition March 25th, 2006 1st 1st Isai
Champ Combo: NorCal Edition April 8th, 2006 1st 1st Isai
MLG New York Opener 2006 April 21st-23rd, 2006 2nd 1st Isai $1,200
MLG Dallas 2006 May 19th-21st, 2006 1st 1st Isai $2,000
MLG Anaheim 2006 June 23rd-25th, 2006 1st 1st Isai $2,000
MLG Chicago 2006 July 21st-23rd, 2006 1st 2nd Isai $2,000
Zero Challenge 2 August 15th-17th, 2006 1st 7th Rob$ $1,200
MLG Orlando 2006 August 25th-27th, 2006 5th 1st Isai $300
SoCal BiWeekly 9/16 September 19th, 2006 1st 1st Manacloud
MLG New York Playoffs 2006 October 13th-15th, 2006 7th 3rd Isai $1,375
Super Smash Royale 2 October 21st, 2006 1st 1st Arash
NCT2: The Big One October 28th, 2006 1st 1st Isai $1,161
San Diego TriWeekly X November 3rd, 2006 1st 1st Arash
MLG Las Vegas 2006 November 17th-19th, 2006 3rd 1st Isai $8,000
CAOTIC's Farewell BiWeekly December 9th, 2006 1st 2nd CAOTIC
SoCal BiWeekly 12/30 December 30th, 2006 2nd 1st Arash
SoCal BiWeekly 1/13 January 13th, 2007 1st 1st Arash
ThomaSexy's Low Tier Tourney January 27th, 2007 1st
SoCal BiWeekly 2/3 February 3rd, 2007 1st 1st Arash
San Diego TriWeekly XI February 10th, 2007 1st 1st Arash
Westminster Biweekly 2/17 February 17th, 2007 1st 1st Arash
SoCal BiWeekly 3/3 March 3rd, 2007 1st 1st Arash
San Diego TriWeekly XII March 10th, 2007 1st 1st Arash LAN 2007 March 30th, 2007 1st
SoCal BiWeekly 4/14 April 14th-15th, 2007 1st
Super Smash Royale III April 28th, 2007 1st 1st Isai $324
UCLA Monthlies III May 26th, 2007 1st 1st Arash
Comrades 2 June 9th, 2007 1st 1st CAOTIC $208
Sushiman's Westminster Tournament July 14th, 2007 1st 1st Manacloud
Zero Challenge 3 July 20th-22nd, 2007 4th 2nd Bombsoldier
EVO World 2007 August 24th-26th, 2007 1st $5,000
Super Champ Combo September 29th-30th, 2007 7th 7th Isai
Newegg LANfest 2007 October 6th, 2007 1st
Kings of Cali November 10th, 2012 33rd 3rd Dr. PeePee $32
Kings of Cali 2 April 13th-14th, 2013 17th Hairynipples
EVO 2013 July 12th-14th, 2013 49th
Kings of Cali 3 December 14th-15th, 2013 25th 5th HugS $93
SoCal Regionals 2014 February 28th-March 2nd, 2014 9th 9th Santiago
Super Smash Sundays 5-18-2014 May 18th, 2014 9th 1st Fiction
Pat's House 2 May 24th-25th, 2014 17th 9th HugS
SKTAR 3 May 31st-June 1st, 2014 25th 9th KoreanDJ
SSS Lock-In June 14th-15th, 2014 9th 5th KoreanDJ
MLG Anaheim 2014 June 20th-22nd, 2014 21st 9th KoreanDJ
CEO 2014 June 27th-29th, 2014 33rd 7th KoreanDJ
Kings of Cali 4 July 5th-6th, 2014 13th 4th Larry Lurr $19
EVO 2014 July 11th-13th, 2014 33rd
Super Smash Sundays 29 December 7th, 2014 9th 5th Larry Lurr
Apex 2015 January 30th-February 1st, 2015 81st 25th KoreanDJ
I'm Not Yelling! April 11th-12th, 2015 25th 5th Santiago
MVG Sandstorm April 18th-19th, 2015 17th 9th OkamiBW
Press Start May 9th-10th, 2015 25th 7th Kira
CEO 2015 June 26th-28th, 2015 33rd 7th ChuDat
Mayhem July 2015 July 11th, 2015 5th 3rd Kira $41
EVO 2015 July 17th-19th, 2015 13th 17th Santiago
Paragon Los Angeles 2015 September 4th-6th, 2015 33rd
HTC Throwdown September 19th, 2015 17th 5th Axe
Super Smash Sundays 39 January 10th, 2016 17th 7th Santiago
GENESIS 3 January 15th-17th, 2016 33rd 17th Santiago
Super Smash Sundays 40 January 24th, 2016 7th 5th HugS
Super Smash Sundays 43 April 17th, 2016 7th 1st Santiago
DreamHack Austin 2016 May 6th-8th, 2016 17th
Super Smash Sundays 48 July 10th, 2016 9th 2nd Santiago
EVO 2016 July 15th-17th, 2016 49th
Super Smash Sundays 52 September 11th, 2016 9th 3rd Lobo
UCI Quarterly 1 November 12th, 2016 5th 1st Santiago $70
GENESIS 4 January 20th-22nd, 2017 97th 7th Santiago $95
Zotcade 17 April 15th, 2017 9th 1st Santiago $84
DreamHack Austin 2017 April 28th-30th, 2017 25th 9th Santiago
EVO 2017 July 14th-16th, 2017 49th
GENESIS 5 January 19th-21st, 2018 65th 13th Santiago

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
EVO 2008 August 8th-10th, 2008 2nd

Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
Super Smash Bros. Invitational June 10th, 2014 9th
Apex 2015 January 30th-February 1st, 2015 97th 25th KoreanDJ
DreamHack Austin 2017 April 28th-30th, 2017 65th
Weds Night Fights 2018 Season 1.5 March 7th, 2018 13th

Project M[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
CEO 2014 June 27th-29th, 2014 25th 7th KoreanDJ


  • Ken appeared in the Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition for highest-earning Super Smash Bros. Melee player, despite Armada, Mew2King, Mango and Hungrybox earning more than him.
  • Ken is known to have coined the terms "Wobbling" and "JV".
  • Ken was glad to see Sephiroth revealed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, saying he would be his new main.[4] His original gamertag was SephirothKen.
  • In 2019, Ken guest-starred on a REACT "Secret Pro Gamer" episode, in which he played Ultimate against and easily defeated the reactors, without them initially knowing who he was.


External links[edit]